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Photo courtesy Carnegie Hall

Executive and Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall

Stephen M. Kellen Lecturer - Class of Spring 2009

Clive Gillinson became Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall in July 2005, having been appointed the previous season. He is responsible for developing the artistic concepts for Carnegie Hall presentations in its three halls – the celebrated Isaac Stern Auditorium (cap. 2804), the innovative new Zankel Hall (cap. 600), and the intimate Weill Recital Hall (cap. 268) – representing more than 200 performances each season, ranging from orchestral concerts, chamber music, solo recitals, and chamber music to jazz, world, and popular music. He also oversees the management of all aspects of the world-renowned venue, including strategic and artistic planning, resource development, education, finance, and administration and operations for The Weill Music Institute which taps the resources of Carnegie Hall to bring music education to people in the New York City metropolitan region, across the United States, and around the world.


Since his arrival in New York, Gillinson has worked to build upon the quality, creativity, diversity, and extraordinary history for which Carnegie Hall is widely known. In November 2007, Carnegie Hall launches its first major interdisciplinary festival, augmenting and integrating its broad range of artistic and educational programming, to present “Berlin in Lights,” a 17-day citywide multi-venue festival celebrating the vibrant city that is Berlin today. With close to 50 events featuring music, dance, cabaret, film, architecture, literature, and current events, the festival broadens Carnegie’s reach through partnerships with several of New York’s finest cultural institutions. Similar special festival programming will be integrated into each coming season, developing fascinating and compelling connections across artistic disciplines and taking audiences on musical and cultural journeys. January 2007 marked the launch of The Academy—A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute, an innovative new fellowship for outstanding US-based post-graduate musicians. Designed to help bridge the gap between academic and professional lives, the two-year program provides musicians with performance opportunities, advanced musical training, and intensive teaching instruction and hands-on experience working in New York City public schools.

Clive Gillinson was born in Bangalore, India, in 1946; his mother was a professional cellist and his father, a businessman, also wrote and painted. Mr. Gillinson began studying the cello at the age of eleven and played in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He went to London University to study mathematics, but realizing that he wanted to make music his life, entered the Royal Academy of Music, where he gained a Recital Diploma and won the top cello prize. After attending the Royal Academy of Music, MGillinson became a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra.


Gillinson joined the London Symphony Orchestra cello section in 1970 and was elected to the Board of Directors of the self-governing orchestra in 1976, also serving as Finance Director. In 1984, he was asked by the Board to become Managing Director of the LSO, a position he held until becoming the Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall in 2005.


Under Gillinson’s leadership, the LSO initiated some of that city’s most innovative and successful artistic festivals, working with many of today’s leading artists. In the international touring arena, the LSO established an annual residency in New York from 1997 and was a founding partner in the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, in 1990, with Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas. Gillinson believes in taking great music to the society at large. In this area, his initiatives with the London Symphony Orchestra included the development of the LSO Discovery music education program, reaching over 30,000 people of all ages annually; and the creation of LSO St. Luke’s, the UBS and LSO Music Education Center; which involved the restoration and reconstruction of St. Luke’s, a magnificent, but previously derelict 18th-century church. Gillinson also created LSO Live, the orchestra’s award-winning international CD label. Gillinson has served as Chairman of the Association of British Orchestras; was one of the founding Trustees of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts; and was founding Chairman of the Management Committee of the Clore Leadership Programme. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in the 1999 New Year Honours List and received the 2004 Making Music Sir Charles Grove Prize for his outstanding contribution to British music.


Gillinson was appointed Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2005, the first-ever orchestra manager to be honored with a Knighthood. He serves on the Board of the American Symphony Orchestra League, and the Board of Overseers for the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia from which he received an Honorary Doctorate in May 2007. Gillinson also serves on the Honorary Board of Brubeck Institute of the University of the Pacific.

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